Monday, July 29, 2013

July Home Improvements

Every weekend Rob and I try to make some small improvement to our house or yard. To me, that's one of the requirements of a good weekend: it ought to involve a beautification project (no matter how tiny). I always want to make things better.

This month we've been working hard, weeding, painting, planting, etc. But the most positive change around here doesn't have anything to do with us and our efforts. The yard is lush and healthy again. It's been raining!

After two years of extreme drought, normal rainfall seems like such a miraclea blessing for sure. Every afternoon shower is a cause for celebration.

When I'm at work, Rob will call and notify me as soon as it starts raining at the house. (He works from home.)

"Well, it's raining pretty good here," he'll say in his jolly way. And I'll be filled with a sense of well-being that lasts for the rest of the day.

The rain has definitely lifted our spirits. We've been rejoicing over the yard's new jungle-y look, all the mushrooms that have popped up, and the wonderfully soggy nature of the lawn. I don't even mind that our usually white house has taken on a decidedly greenish cast. I'm so grateful for the rain that I'm trying to think of algae, mold, and mildew not as problems but as decorative accents.

And now on to the improvements we can honestly take credit for: We went to Dothan last weekend and bought this wacky lamp for the back bedroom. It weighs a ton (the base is brass), and the shade, which resembles an 18th-century mob-cap, is made of delicate frosted glass. The fringe of crystals around the bottom of the shade, is, in my opinion, the pièce de résistance. Rob says the whole thing is "so old-ladyish it's actually kind of cool."

While we were in Dothan, we also picked up a new plant stand for the kitchen. It's got a nice sturdy marble top, so it should be immune to cat scratches (I'm hoping). I like having lots of houseplants around since they improve indoor air quality and look pretty. The cats like to eat them, so I usually choose ferns or peace lilies since I know they're non-toxic.

We've been touching up the paint on our breezeway again, and last weekend we hung up a new Coke button sign and Coke thermometer for decorations. The cats seem to approve of our improvements. Even though it's really hot and humid these days, the breezeway is still their favorite hangout. June Baxter likes sleeping on the little railing under the windows. She straddles it (it's the funniest thing) and rests as comfortably as a leopard on a tree branch.

June perched on the railing and surrounded by friends (Frankie, Tellie, and Leroy

We recently added a new decoy to our collectionthe handsome plover you see below, carved around 1910. Rob and I aren't into hunting, but we enjoy collecting decoys as folk art. Besides the new plover, we have an owl, two flickers, an eider, two crows, an unidentified brown duck, a dove, and a turkey.

The whole collection

Eider with a mussel in its beak


  1. You did a lot in the weekend, and I just LOVE that lamp! The decoys make for a very cool collection.

  2. Very lovely. Your home, the lamp, the decoys, and oh! how the cats do make your home even lovelier. I would love to have a cat. Your yard looks simply luscious!

  3. I so agree about the miracle of the daily rains. What a blessing. You have a charming home.

  4. I don't even know where to start. . . but I will say this ~ as I read your blog, I get the distinct feeling that I'm reading something that is soon to become so much more (not that your blog isn't more than enough). Your home, your style, your photos, your garden, even your adorable cats have the feel and quality of a magazine. I wouldn't be surprised to pick up an issue of Southern Living and find a layout of Spruce Pine Cottage. Oh and add the whole vegan thing . . . Yep ~ it's coming, watch. :-) And we blogging folks can say "we knew you when".

  5. I just love your home! Great photos!

  6. I agree with eli!!

    It is always a delight to visit here. Your home and furnishings are beautiful, your gardens oh so lovely. You are an inspiration.


  7. It does look so lush and green in your neck of the woods! It's just lovely. I'm glad you're getting rain because it really helps with the plants so much. Your house looks so inviting and cozy. I really like the photo of the cute kitties :)

  8. I love your home. The yard just makes me want to walk, linger and enjoy......and the cats - I love the cats! We try to get improvements done on the weekends as well. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't. :) Still waiting for my kitchen and bathroom to be completed...... Beautiful pieces you picked up.

  9. Looks like you found some nice pieces for your home. The lamp is beautiful and very unique. Love the pics of your cats lazing around on a summer afternoon. We too have had rain almost everyday down our way. It's wonderful! It reminds me of summers when I was a kid. So nice not to have to worry about plants wilting in the hot afternoon sun.